Riding Sunbeams is a world-leading innovator founded by climate charity Possible and Community Energy South. Our corporate mission is focussed on decarbonising rail traction networks through the development and connection of unsubsidised, direct-wire renewable generation with significant social impact for line-side communities.
Our vision is to power railway with unsubsidised, direct-wire renewable generation whilst delivering significant social impact for line-side communities.
We were the first to achieve this globally through our pioneering FOAK 2019 project (funded by Department for Transport) which connected solar energy directly into Direct-Current, third rail powered railways, in conjunction with Network Rail at their Aldershot site. We have now received funding on FOAK 2020 to both develop and demonstrate the required technology to connect solar energy and line-side energy storage to feed an Alternating-Current, overhead-wire railway.
Our commercial model uses external finance and a Power Purchase agreement to minimise or eliminate capital outlay for transport operators such as Network Rail, with the cost of purchasing the green energy being offset by a reduction in energy purchased from the comparatively carbon-heavy grid.
Riding Sunbeams estimate that each MW of solar capacity connected the rail traction system will deliver annual carbon savings of around 245t/CO2e.